Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The 1939 Register - Update

At the stoke of midnight on 16 February, Find My Past added the 1939 Register to their subscription. No doubt, this is due to the huge backlash when Find My Past reported that the Register would only be available through purchasing credits. I for one am thankful that Find My Past have changed their minds.

I've already solved one mystery! I knew that my great-grandmother's sister, Margaret Taylor had married Robert Gray in 1884. Together they had at least five children. Margaret and Robert are missing from the 1911, and in six years of researching I have never came close to finding them, until now. I assumed they must have died as their children could be found living around with family members. 

I knew Margaret's birthdate from her baptism record, which is great as the 1939 Register includes the nation's dates of birth - and so Margaret and Robert were easily found! The couple were living alone in Blyth, close to where they lived before they went missing. Margaret is described as "Incapacitated".

Now that the Register is included in the subscriptions, I can also attempt to find friends of the family, or even people named in family anecdotes. 

The first person I just had to find was a lady named Mrs Norah Smith. She is spoken of in my family quite a lot as she was a close friend of my maternal grandmother, who helped her deliver some of her children. Her husband was named Harry, and at one point they lived in the flat above my grandparents. 

To my surprise I found Henry and Norah Smith living at No. 2 Orange Street, Annitsford in 1939, only three doors from my great-grandparents who lived at No. 5. Harry was born in 1900, and Norah in 1908.

Another person I thought to look for was a local shop-owner known as Lancey Boward. One aunt of mine speaks quite fondly of the shop he owned and everything he sold inside. Lancey, or Lancelot Boward was living at 26 Jubilee Terrace, Annitsford with his wife, Annie. He is described as a "Sub Postmaster" and a general dealer. An annotation also tells me that he was a special constable. 

These are just a handful of the things I have found. I can't wait to see what more there is to discover from this wonderful resource. 

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